DEKALB – It was a very unusual season to begin with since their season was first postponed in August the reinstated around a month later.
After that, Northern Illinois along with the rest of the Mid-American Conference played a six-game reduced schedule as the COVID-19 pandemic continued. When the Huskies hit the field for those contests, despite a few close results, they weren’t able to come up with a victory.
It left head coach Thomas Hammock along with a number of returning players a lot to think about over the next nine months as they looked ahead to a more normal 2021 college football season. Now the time has arrived for NIU to get back on the winning track and back toward the top of the MAC, where they were often the last two decades.
They’ll have 19 returning starters on offense and defense, including Chicago native and All-MAC first team receiver Tyrice Richie, who led the conference with 8.8 catches per game in 2020. Quarterback and Michigan State transfer Rocky Lombardi will lead the offense after the departure of two-year starter Ross Bowers.
It won’t be easy for Hammock’s team as they begin their season with ACC opponent Georgia Tech in Atlanta – one of four non-conference match-ups for the Huskies before they start MAC play against Eastern Michigan on October 2nd in DeKalb.
Larry Hawley previewed NIU’s 2021 season as part of his college football previews this week on WGN News Now, and you can see that in the video above.